Yesterday I had a meeting with a client who was looking for a Flex Developer to maintain an existing Flex project. I had a look at the code and was pretty confused because, well, it wasn’t Flex. It was just a huge Flex Builder ActionScript project including several .fla files full of library assets. Just because he had been given a repository with a Flex Builder project in it, the client thougt he had to look for a Flex Developer to add some features to his application.
It took me a while to explain the difference between Flex, Flash, the Flash IDE and Flex Builder and why it makes a big difference whether you create your project as an ActionScript or Flex project. That made me realize why renaming Flex Builder to Flash Builder absolutely makes sense. If this would have been a “Flash Builder” project, the client wouldn’t have thought he’d have to look for a”Flex Developer” that is still much harder to find than a “Flash Developer”.
But I still think that the confusion won’t be over once Flash Builder ist out. One reason is that Flex Builder will stay around for years, so people might think there are just two different Builders then, one for “Flash” and one for Flex. Another reason is that it’s going to be hard to explain the difference between Flash IDE and Flash Builder, especially because both will have version number 4 (Flash Builder 4 and Flash CS4). It’s been hard enough to explain the difference between Flash Player and Flash in the past. With Flash Builder around this will become even harder.
So I think it would be a smart move from Adobe to rename the Flash IDE, too. Otherwise renaming Flex Builder will solve one problem just to cause another.
P.S: Remember LiveMotion, Adobe’s “Flash Killer” back in the days when Flash was still owned by Macromedia? I think “LiveMotion 3.0” would be a great name for the next version of the Flash IDE! There are even 122 people who have already signed a petition to get LiveMotion back 😉